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Hands down, a huge consideration for mommies to be is “should I try to breastfeed my baby?”
There are MILLIONS of resources on the subject. There are countless articles and debates over it’s benefits. Every year some celebrity is put on the spot for sharing a photo of herself nursing her baby.
There is even a career based solely on professionals who help mommas succeed with breast feeding. I could go on but I think you get the point..Breast Feeding = BIG FREAKING DEAL!!
I am not here to argue the Pros and Cons of Breast Feeding. I 100% love it and promote it BUT I also understand that it does not work out for everyone and that is OK! Instead I’m going to share with you my journey, including the steps that set me up for success in the hopes that you can have sucess too!
1. Educate yourself
One of the biggest resources for me came from my OBGYN. I devoured the brochures and booklets they sent home with me or sent in care packages. She also told me about a breast feeding class that was sponsored by my Hospital. I think the whole thing was like $20 and was 3 hours on a Saturday afternoon. It was WORTH every penny!! I definitely recommend seeing if your hospital of choice offers classes like this. Some even bundle infant classes together which is how I ended up taking a birthing class and Infant CPR for a discounted price. Also worth it!
Read everything you can that is related to breast feeding. You will feel confident, prepared, and excited for your little one!
2. Don’t be afraid to take advice or ask for help
I was fortunate enough to have a huge support system. This included family members and friends with experience breast feeding their kids.
Don’t have family nearby? Or perhaps they are of the era that my grandmother raised kids in..in her words “they just didn’t talk about it.” It’s not that it was discouraged but there also wasn’t that buzz about it that we have today. If this is your situation, there are still several resources for advice! During your stay in the hospital you can expect the nurses to have tons of valuable tips for you. Most hospitals also have a lactation consultant, AKA breast feeding professional, on staff that will come around as much as you need in those first few days.
3. Set up nursing stations around your house
At the time my son was born, I was living with his dad in a 3 story townhouse. Yes, you heard me. I had to walk up and down 2 flights of stairs while pregnant EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Multiple times a day I add.
In preparing for M to arrive, I made sure everything I needed was as close by as possible. Again, thanks to my classes, I knew what to expect with the physical recovery after birth. So I also knew that I wanted to go up and down stairs with an infant as little as possible. I had a breast feeding station set up in 3 rooms of the house: living room, bedroom, and nursery. I used the one in the bedroom the most. I even bought a small fridge during back-to-school season (you know me always trying to save $!) for the bedroom. This served the purpose of keeping breast milk cold and any small snacks that needed to be refrigerated upstairs.
My stations included water bottles, small snacks, wireless phone chargers,breast pads and burp cloths. I also put heavy duty period pads in my baskets because sometimes I wanted those instead of breast pads or if all the breast pads were dirty..#momhack!
4. Don’t be afraid to use a breast pump
New moms, you should know that sometimes your milk does NOT come in that first day of giving birth. Or the second. Or third.
On the first night home from the hospital, my son cried ALL night. I didn’t understand as I was nursing him constantly! The next day came his first pediatrician visit and I was horrified when they gave him a small 2oz. bottle of Enfamil which he sucked down. He was hungry!
Once he had a full stomach he was able to sleep and I could pump for the first time since giving birth. It allowed me to see that I was still producing mostly colostrum. I didn’t quite have the milk production I needed yet.
Pumping creates the affect of a child nursing, causing your body to kick it up a notch! For example, I have a friend who co-slept with her infant daughter because it seemed she could never get enough breast milk. In her words it felt like “she was always latched on.” This caused her to produce an enormous amount of milk and she ended up nursing for 18 months! (jaw drop)
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Because I was able to prepare myself, learn everything I needed to know, and learn from mistakes, I ended up having a wonderful experience nursing! I hope you can too because the feeling you get when you are bonding with your child through breast feeding..there is NOTHING like it in the whole world!!
Mommas do you have any tricks you use while nursing? What advice would you go back and give yourself? I would love to hear about it in the comment section!
Mommas – to be, if you have any further questions about breast feeding or other concerns feel free to shoot me a message! If I could get one thing across to you today it’s that you are NOT alone in this exciting, yet scary time of your life. You are backed by a billion + strong community of mommies so go you! xoxo